Elise Archer,Attorney-General and Minister for Corrections
The Tasmanian Government understands the importance of protecting and managing the environment, while progressing major infrastructure developments.
The Northern Regional Prison is no exception and we will be fully cognisant of the local environment during this process.
A preliminary investigation has been conducted by DPIPWE and it is understood there are no eagle nests, covenants or records of threatened wildlife on the block. Further due diligence of the Crown land site is currently underway.
It is important to note that the prison is likely to only require a footprint of approximately 15 hectares of the 70 hectare site, providing opportunities to manage any environmental features on the site.
However, the 70 hectare site is not a ‘reserve’ as the Greens claim, it is unallocated Crown land and does not contain ‘pristine forest’. Rather it shows evidence of a history of timber harvesting, illegal firewood collection, stock grazing, rubbish dumping and shooting.
It is important to get these facts right rather than allow the Greens to spout mistruths as they did in State Parliament today. They are either being deliberately misleading or have misinterpreted the Land Information System Tasmania (LIST).
The site does not contain the values for which it was originally purchased by the Government, and indeed, for more than a decade, consideration has been given to allowing the land to be sold, with the intention of allowing a portion of the land to be cleared for a residence.
At a time when the State needs jobs more than ever before, we are committed to delivering the Northern Regional Prison in an effective and timely manner.